Author Archive for Msgr. Charles Pope

Temptation as a Form of Martyrdom – A Meditation on a Writing of St. Ambrose

Temptation is a universal human experience. And because it’s so directly associated with sin, many too easily equate being tempted with sinning. But temptation is not the same as sin. If it were, how could the Scriptures say to us that Jesus was tempted in every way we are and yet was without sin? (Heb 4:15) […] Read the rest of this entry »

Party or Perish! A Homily for the 28th Sunday of the Year

The past three Sundays have featured intense and shocking parables about our readiness, our fruitfulness, and our decision to accept and enter the Kingdom of God or not. The Lord has used the image of a vineyard into which workers are dispatched at different times of the day but who have different attitudes about what […] Read the rest of this entry »

Do Not Forget the Works of the Lord – A Meditation on Fear, as Seen in a Short Cartoon

There was a moment in Peter’s life when he faced a choice to focus on either the storm or the Lord. It is in the memorable Gospel story in which Peter was walking on the water toward Jesus. As the Gospel recounts, But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink (Mt […] Read the rest of this entry »

Musings and Concerns on the Synod

We are seeing in Rome a rather unusual unfolding of the Synod, wherein cardinals and bishops with very different points of view are airing those differences quite publicly. Even prior to the Synod there was the publication of various competing books. To be fair to the bishops and cardinals, it would seem that Pope Francis himself […] Read the rest of this entry »

Humility in Prayer

I, perhaps like you, have to see folks I love and care about through some difficult periods in their lives. One neighbor and parishioner just lost her eight-year-old daughter to cancer. A number of parishioners are seeking work and praying daily for it, but no work offers seem to be forthcoming. Still others cry out […] Read the rest of this entry »

Jesus Rejected Unlawful and Unchaste Marriages in His Own Day – Here’s Why and Where

Monday’s decision by the Supreme Court not to take up numerous state appeals regarding same-sex unions pretty much signals that the secular redefinition is here to stay. This is really no surprise given the rather deep confusion about sexuality and marriage in our culture. The polygamists and any number of other groups demanding recognition for […] Read the rest of this entry »

Atheism is Acquired, and recent studies show it is not natural to the human person

The Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen once remarked that atheism was not natural to the human person and that it was acquired. He used as his reference St. Paul’s words in Romans: For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For […] Read the rest of this entry »

Whence these Wild Grapes? A Consideration on Rebelliousness in the Human Heart

Among the issues that stand out in yesterday’s (Sunday) Gospel about the vineyard, is the wild and strange overreaction by the tenant farmers to the idea that the landowner was owed anything in terms of the fruits of the harvest. Notice that they beat, stone, and even kill the servants sent to collect the owner’s […] Read the rest of this entry »

Sinner Please Don’t Let This Harvest Pass – A Homily for the 27th Sunday of the Year

There is an urgency and clarity about today’s Gospel that is often lacking in modern Christians, including the clergy. In this Gospel, the message is urgent, provocative, and clear: there is a day of judgment coming for every one of us and we simply must be ready. The message is a sobering one for a […] Read the rest of this entry »

On the Dignity and Delightfulness of Dogs

God gives, and has given, many gifts. One of the great gifts he gave me in the past was the gift of our family dogs. On the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, it is interesting to ponder what he would have thought about dogs. Domesticated dogs are a rather modern phenomenon and it is quite likely […] Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Worry about being “Left Behind.” Have a Holy Fear of being taken up to Judgment.

The movie “Left Behind” opens today. And while, in a secular culture dismissive of any consequences for unbelief, we can rejoice in any salutary reminders, it is unfortunate that the reminder is riddled with questionable theology and dubious biblical interpreation. In certain (but not all) Protestant circles, and especially among the Evangelicals, there is a […] Read the rest of this entry »

Some Basic Facts and Clarifications about the Angels

Jesus affirms the truth that we have guardian angels: See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father (Mat 18:10). On the Feast of the Guardian Angels, we consider the beautiful truth that God assigns each of us […] Read the rest of this entry »